Friday nights just haven't been the same since Pepe's in La Canada closed its doors. We're looking for a dark, comfortable place that has good Mexican food with margaritas. We like big burritos, carnitas, asada...the basics. We live in Silverlake, but are willing to travel for the right combination of tasty and fun.
What we've tried so far, with comments:
La Cabinita - very good food, but the room is cold and uncomfortable. Service is harried.
Los Compadres - Flaming margaritas are fun, carnitas are quite good, but the rest of the food is pretty marginal. Service is poor. Some bonus points for non-roving mariachis.
El Chavo - I love this room, but the food just sucks.
Malo - The food here is tasty, but we'd rather not have to make a reservation for down and dirty margarita night. Waitstaff has that haughty Steven Arroyo attitude that makes me want to kill someone. Shouldn't cost this much either.
Casita Del Campo - really bad food. strange room.
La Golondrina - Olvera Street. actually kind of like this place, but it is a pain in the ass to get there. Pretty decent cochinito pibil.
El Cholo - too chain-y. Feels like Disneyland.
Lucy's El Adobe - crappy food & really expensive for what you get. The rooms are super cavernous since they expanded.
Margarita's - in Pasadena. Sister restaurant to Pepe's. Food is great, but the space is too bright...not cosy.
El Coyote - soft spot for this place since they would serve us booze back when we were kids, but the food is serious gutbomb material. Would love to find a smaller, tastier clone.
These are the next stops on the list. Would love input, or any other places you suggest:
Villa Sombrero - Highland Park
El Arco Iris - Highland Park (do they have margaritas?)
El Cid - Silverlake
The Mexican Village - Silverlake
Casa Vega - in the valley